Why solar electric propulsion?

Any vehicle must carry fuel in order to move. Ion engines are a way of moving a space ship through space without needing to carry and use the huge amounts of fuel that conventional rockets need. This has several advantages. One is that the less fuel a ship carries, the lighter it is and the easier it is to get it into space. Another advantage is that a ship that needs less fuel will not run out of fuel and stop working as quickly. Much of the energy in an ion rocket is provided by electricity, which can be made through solar panels "on the fly" instead of carried into space.

Ask any question below to learn why NASA uses ion propulsion.

What is the difference between an ion engine and a conventional one?
What are other ion using technologies?
How does propulsion work?
How does solar electric propulsion (ion propulsion) work?
How do conventional rockets work?

Why is mass important?
What is thrust?
What is a propellant?